There was a time, when I was younger and maybe more naïve or idealistic that the voice in my head was much quieter. I was more tuned into the world outside of me, than what was going on inside of me. I was more of a sponge, taking it all in. There use to be much more silence and space in my head for interpretation and acceptance. Now, I’m more of a brick, less penetrable. Now I have such a thick filtration system in my head. I can barely see nor interpret experiences outside of my colander of judgment and perception.
I can’t count how many times in a day, my inner voice speaks above and louder than the person before me. What do I mean? Soon after someone says or does something, my inner voice immediately responds with an opinion or judgment, “Did he really just say that?” “Why are people so annoying” “They’re just looking for attention” “Ya, she’s just being moody again” and so on. I stop listening, because the voice in my head starts speaking, and damn is she loud! This seems like a hindrance to living a peaceful and authentic life. There’s obviously no way I could voice these thoughts out loud. So what then, of the paradox that I am or am becoming? How do I turn it off?
The voice is usually critical. It probably comes from my deep seeded expectations of how I think people should behave and be. But when I really reflect on that, it means that my ego really believes that I know what’s right or better, as if I know “the right way to behave”. Why is this internal voice louder now than it used to be? It used to be much more easier for me interacting with different kinds of people. Now, I find myself flocking to people who don’t trigger my inner voice. After all, it’s easier to have a meaningful exchange with someone when my inner voice isn’t shouting over them.
So I find myself attracted to people who tend to be more like minded to me, share similar values; people I respect, admire or in some way “approve” of. People say as we get older, our time becomes more precious and valuable. That we too become more firm in our values and direction. But does realizing my own values need to equate to judging the values of others? It’s almost like my values had a naughty one night stand with my ego, which bore my inbred judgements and expectations. Isn’t there a way that my values could instead grow more acceptance and openness – maybe I need to marry my values not to my ego, but to my spirit.
I’ve been reading a book “The Hiding Place” that Betsy Thomas had posted about on her Facebook. It’s about the German invasion and occupation of Holland and the discrimination and atrocities Jewish people were put through. It’s a mortifying and touching account of how horrible people can be to one another. But this isn’t an isolated incident. I think back to Africa, the Middle East, India… Often times, human beings are horrible to one another. It’s like we stop relating to each other as humans, and instead we begin classifying each other in accordance with our own value system. But that’s not that different from what I’ve subconsciously doing, is it? Me flocking to like minded people, means that I’ve been classifying people in relation to my own value system, and in essence, on some level, discriminating against those that don’t quite fit into my value system. I’m not flogging them or rallying for their demise; but I am certainly identifying them….well my internal voice certainly is…..and maybe that’s where the disconnect and breakdown starts. I don’t want to create any separations, not globally, not even microscopically.
But having said that, so then what? What of my internal voice? What does it really mean to marry my values with my spirit not my ego?
Well, I suppose it goes without saying, if I believe in equality on a global level, then it doesn’t make sense to accept discrimination on a personal level. Also, it dawns on me, that when I think back, I can recollect times where it’s been people seemingly “different” from me that have taught me such valuable life lessons. It was a Muslim girl who taught me how to be a better Christian. It was a friend who overcame an eating disorder who taught me we all have body issues and insecurities. It was a friend who came from a very dysfunctional family that taught me people can take responsibility for their own lives and be successful…
That really is the meaning of the human experience, the exchange that takes place between us. It’s not really about who I am or who you are, but what happens in that space between us. There is always something to give or something to take. There is something to learn or something to teach. The duality that is strung through all of creation, exists even in human to human experience.
Wow, I feel like I’ve managed to quiet my inner voice for the time being. I’m sure though, that it’ll return with vengeance tomorrow. But valuing the distance between us, maybe muzzles the voice long enough for me to meaningfully contribute to any exchange; this human to human experience. Marrying my values with my spirit means coming from a place of love not judgment. That way I can hold on to my values without infringing upon yours. Maybe that’s the peace that passeth all understanding….
After all, regardless of differences and values, everyone has the right to be themselves. I might be a brick now, but bricks make firm foundations of which to build upon. <3